Buses Return to Barlow to Take Home Kids Dropped off Early

Worsening road conditions in Tropical Depression Ida’s wake led the Easton, Redding and Region 9 school district to close school for the day today after first announcing a two-hour delay.

In addition to a message sent to ER9 families on Wednesday ahead of the impending storm, the district communicated with families throughout the morning, beginning with a text at 4:46 a.m. alerting them that the schools’ opening would be delayed for two hours.

Shortly before 9 a.m., parents were sent the message that all ER9 schools were closed: “Unfortunately, the road conditions have gotten worse. The bus company is now reporting that 15 roads in Easton and 12 are impassable. Therefore, we will have to change the delayed opening to a school closure for today.”

Some Barlow students had already been picked up by the bus and were dropped off at the school. School staff was on site to meet the students. A phone message distributed at 9:17 informed ER9 families that “all Barlow students who have been picked up this morning will be dropped off at Barlow and the bus company will be contacting those families to pick up their children at the school.”

A text alert at 9:39 a.m. made the following clarification: “Arrangements have been made for the bus company to pick up Barlow students who had been dropped off at the school this morning and return them to their homes.”  

A final text message informed parents that “as of 9:55 a.m. Barlow students have been picked up by buses and are on their way home. A debriefing of today’s events will be held by administration.”

United Illuminating Company reported that 97 of its 2,973 Easton customers, or 3.26%, remained without power this morning as crews worked to restore them. Eversource reported that 689 of its 3,842 Redding customers, or 17.93%, remained without power at that time.

Ida remnants pummeled the Northeast last night and into the morning, causing widespread flooding and devastation and more than eight deaths have been reported.

“The remnants of Hurricane Ida inundated large swaths of the northeastern U.S. with historic and unanticipated fury Wednesday night, killing at least 14 people in flooding in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as basement apartments suddenly filled with water, rivers and creeks swelled to record levels and roadways turned into car-swallowing canals,” according to the Associated Press.

“Eight people died when they became trapped in flooded basements, New York City police said. Five people were found dead in an apartment complex in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the city’s mayor and spokesperson told local media. Outside Philadelphia, officials reported ‘multiple fatalities, saying no additional details were immediately available.”

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.